Posts Tagged ‘sports’

How Karate Helped my Son

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012


Several years ago my husband and I were praying about what to do with one of our sons who was uncoordinated. Three of my children learned physical skills easily while the other child took forever to learn them. Learning how to ride a bike took just a few days of practice for most of my kids, but months of practice for this one son.

We put him into soccer, and that was disastrous. Nobody would ever kick the ball to him, so how was he supposed to improve? He was so frustrated; you could see the frustration all over his face.

So we pulled him out of soccer after one season, even though his brothers have continued to do various team sports and have loved every minute of it.

I advise homeschool parents to pray about the weaknesses of their children. God knows the exact answer to your prayer. You might not come up with it yourself unless you ask God. For our family, the answer was a Christian karate place nearby. The students quote Scripture as they do their poses. Both my husband and I felt a supernatural peace about signing up our son.

A year later, I had a son who was physically fit and had control over his body movements. It was a miracle. We are now in his third year.

A homeschool mom recently walked up to my son and asked him if he liked karate. I tried to change the subject. My son had never thought to question whether he was supposed to go to karate or not. He hadn’t thought of being rebellious to fight what his parents knew was the right thing for him. The homeschool mom didn’t realize that children don’t rule.

Any activity that you sign your kids up for that is making up for a weakness will not be the favorite activity of your children. That’s because that activity comes hard for them. But if it’s what God wants you to be doing, it will strengthen those very weaknesses so that for the rest of that child’s life, he will not struggle in that area as much.

And if you’ve prayed about it and have a supernatural peace and joy in your soul about that activity and are in complete agreement with your husband, move forward and do it. Your child will come to expect that it’s a part of his life.

The Pros and Cons of Sports

Monday, November 8th, 2010

pros-and-cons-of-sportsI recently heard some speakers who believe that being involved in sports is sin. I’m serious. That’s what they said in their homeschool conference. (They say it in their books as well.) Here is their reasoning: their sons were developing pride, which was not a character quality they wanted in their sons. Secondly, sports are all about winning, and causing the other team to lose. So it’s not “being a servant;” instead, it’s “being selfish.” Thirdly, you become obsessed with it as an adult. So it feeds the “wrong appetite” in your kids, since they will prioritize that above their families when they get older. (“Move over, can’t you see I’m watching the game?!”) Let me address each of these arguments one by one.

First, they said sports will cause your child to develop pride. That’s only if your kids are good at sports, which most homeschoolers aren’t. (Yes, we’re misfits. Go on and throw tomatoes if you want, but most homeschool kids seem more klutzy than public school kids who get their regular inoculation of sports.) For my own children, it develops humility and an ability to lose well. They’ve never scored a goal or a touchdown, bless their souls, no matter how hard they’ve tried. If they do, I will holler like a crazy woman and jump up and down, and hurray for them. It’s not a sin to be happy when you try to do something, and you’re happy that you did it. Like swimming, for example. Is it a sin to be proud of yourself that you’re swimming for the first time? “I did it!” they beam. Hurray for them. That’s happy. When Jesus was a toddler and walked for the first time, He was probably proud of Himself. Yet He was the most humble man that ever lived. That doesn’t mean He was mousey and felt that we wasn’t good at anything. It’s good to have confidence, so that we can share the Gospel and use our spiritual gifts. We need to know our strengths and weaknesses. This doesn’t mean that it’s a sin to have strengths, or to have confidence of a job well done.

Secondly, sports are all about winning, and causing the other team to lose. It’s not teaching them to be a servant to others, but to be selfish. Actually, to learn to work as a team, you have to serve the people on your team, letting them get the glory that you set up for them. Learning to work as a team is something that helps to understand the body of Christ (the church) and how it works. Yes, you can learn this by doing chores as a family or feeding the poor in a soup kitchen. Do all of the above, by all means, at least what God leads you to do. But in a sport, your kids are getting exercise at the same time that they’re learning a skill. Better hand-eye coordination is a plus. Also, not being stupid about sports (“Basketball? What’s that?”) is helpful for a well-rounded education. Education is more than books. It’s an understanding of life. Plus, our obese society should exercise more.

Lastly, your children will prioritize sports above their families in the future. Maybe this is true; maybe it’s not. Maybe your kids will love their families way more than sports, but also enjoy watching a game. That’s why you need to seek God each year, to ask Him whether your child should do a sport or not. Only God knows what the results will be. Then don’t proceed unless you have peace. Enjoying watching a football game is not necessarily a sin. My husband and I don’t watch sports, and I’ve already made it clear in other blog entries that I hate sports myself because I was always picked last. But I guess what I’m trying to say is, “Ask God. Only God knows what’s best for your family. Don’t grab someone else’s rules just because they’re famous or godly. The only way to be godly is to have a personal relationship with Christ and seek Him about these things. Then follow His leading.”

Flag Football

Monday, October 11th, 2010

flag-footballMy 8-year-old son Stephen is playing flag football for the first time this year. It’s a Christian-based program called Upward Sports, it only lasts 8 weeks, and it has one practice per week. This makes it a good fit for homeschoolers, who don’t want their lives taken over by sports.

Before the game on Saturday, the boys line up and run through a tunnel when their name is called. Music plays over the speakers, and a big hoopla is made as everyone cheers for each kid. The boys then run to their field, where the team huddles together and prays before the game. Being a mom, I also like the fact that it’s not tackle football. Instead of tackling, the opposing team pulls off a plastic flag from your kid’s side, making a fun popping sound. The kids each have a wrist band that explains many different plays, so each boy knows what they’re supposed to do.

Why spend 8 weeks playing football? For your kid not be a dork when he is in college or beyond, and the guys invite him over to watch the Super Bowl. Part of having a full education is understanding many aspects of life, including not being completely clueless about football. It’s also good exercise, and the boys learn teamwork. (It’s hard for me to say all of this because I’ve always hated sports, and I have no idea how football is played. All I hear is “blah, blah, second down, blah, blah,” whatever that means. I understand what a touchdown is, and I understand which direction they’re supposed to be going. Otherwise it just looks like a random swarm of bees to me.)

If you plan to put your boy into flag football, I recommend that your husband teach him how to throw and catch the ball, since his entire success as a player depends on it. If your kid is a complete klutz, you might just spend a year or so throwing and catching the ball before putting him in.

Volleyball is “Torture Ball”

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

volleyball-problemsFor our homeschool PE, I like to introduce my children to each of the different sports for a few days so that they are not ignorant when the church sets up a volleyball game or whatever. I want them to know what the rules are, and some basic skills so that they have the ability to play, or to enjoy watching. I do not want my children to have to join every team out there for season after season. No, I think a week or two to learn the basics with me is decent enough.

I use the Cub Scouts Academics and Sports program, which you can pick up for $5 at any Boy Scout store. In the sports section of that program, you can earn a pin for each sport that you complete. If you are not in Cub Scouts, you can buy the pin yourself and give it to your kid. Each sport lists different skills that need to be mastered, so I drill those skills.volleyball-problems-2

For volleyball, 90 minutes of practicing skills was required, so we practiced serving, setting, and bumping the ball. Each time the children served or bumped the ball, they screamed in pain. My son Bryan nicknamed the game “torture ball.” He said he was bruised after that first day of half an hour. I told him I was bruised, too. On the way home, I turned the opposite way and decided to get a softer ball at a sporting goods store. After all, I had bought this old volleyball for 99 cents at Goodwill two years ago, so who knows its condition?

Arriving at thevolleyball-problems-3 sporting goods store, I asked if there was a children’s volleyball or a softer volleyball. One of the men who worked there spoke authoritatively. He stated that the main reason a volleyball would hurt is because there is too much air in the ball. I should let some air out of my ball. Secondly, he had a ball that was softer, but it was expensive at $35. Also, he had me feel the ball. He said, “See, this one has too much air. This one over here is better.” I felt each one and figured out how it should be. I thanked him and left.

volleyball-problems-4The next day I let air out of the ball. (My husband took something off the air pump and pressed it into the hole.) When we arrived at the park with the volleyball net, we fared no better. It was slightly less pain for me to serve it, but it certainly didn’t make much difference. My husband told me volleyball always hurts. I told him that a couple of times that I played it, it didn’t hurt. There must be a way to hit it to minimize pain. If anyone has any ideas, let me know. Meanwhile, all I hear from my boys is “Ow,” “ow,” “ouch,” “ow.”